Senior Marketing Manager and copywriter for Articulate Marketing. Specialist in writing about writing, marketing, strategy, technology and geekery. Writer of puns and the words between puns. They say talking to yourself is the first sign of content marketing. Expert parenthesis user (so it is said).
The Difference Engine
An Articulate Marketing Guide
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Batman has shark-repellent spray. Marketers have HubSpot. You don't need superpowers if you have the right tool for the job.
(Cue the 'it also helps if you're a billionaire' backchat. We'll get to pricing in a bit.)
As an award-winning HubSpot partner agency, we speak to plenty of businesses who have heard of HubSpot, but don't really know what it is or how it works. Or they've never heard of it, but their marketing goals happen to align with what HubSpot can provide, and they want to learn more. We gotcha.
But but but... the HubSpot website is so packed full of resources that it can be tricky to prioritise key information. They're maximalists. We support their life choices. Radical acceptance notwithstanding, we're here to answer the 8 most frequently asked questions about HubSpot, from the basic principles up. And, we'll provide links to our favourite resources from their website. That way, you can skip right to the good stuff.
From humble beginnings, it has now expanded into a powerful CRM platform that helps companies align their marketing, sales, and service teams.
HubSpot CRM is essentially a contact database. You can track and interact with your contacts across multiple channels, all integrated in one place. It's so much more clever than a simple database, of course, but that's the basic principle behind it: a hive of activities centred around your contacts.
It puts your customers - current and future - at the heart of your business.
A rapt audience for your products and services. Targeted leads. Engaged prospects. Customers. Fame. Differentiation. The competitive edge. An all-in-one platform. Automated workstreams. A modern workplace. Sustainable growth.
Because your boss cares about your marketing metrics. Because your job depends on delivering said marketing metrics.
We can't tell you what you care about. What we can say is if anything we've just listed is a pressing concern, or a heart-set desire, then HubSpot is the right choice for you.
Marketing automation is the ability to automatically funnel site visitors into your contact database, then engage with and nurture those leads. HubSpot gives you the tools you need to do just that. It extends the capacity of your marketing team, and sales team, to reach an audience of potential customers.
With this all-in-one marketing software, you can track contacts from first touch through to closed deals. You can automate marketing activities such as lead capture and email. You can even host your website with HubSpot. There's really isn't anything you can't do.
Sometimes it feels like HubSpot is both a software and a foreign language. 'Inbound' is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a few key pieces of HubSpotterese you need to wrap your head around:
'Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t always want, inbound marketing forms connections they are looking for and solves problems they already have.'
Hat tip to HubSpot for the image.
'The Flywheel is a model adapted by HubSpot to explain the momentum you gain when you align your entire organization around delivering a remarkable customer experience. It is remarkable at storing and releasing energy — and it turns out that’s pretty important when thinking about your business strategy.'
We'll talk about this one more in the next section. The CRM is made up of five 'Hubs' that cover different activities. All the Hubs connect together. The best way to deploy HubSpot, then is to really integrate it across multiple departments, so that the tool Marketing uses is the same as the tool Sales uses, and so on.
A CMS is one of the 'Hubs' offered by HubSpot. It's a content management system, which is geek-speak for the software that hosts and manages websites.
Except it's more than that. HubSpot sites are the launchpad for your marketing. You website needs to be a functional, active lead-generating machine - not some static brochure. Whether it's a bespoke build or created using a theme, any website made and hosted on HubSpot is purposeful, flexible and scalable.
Given it's a popular topic, here's everything we've written about WordPress vs. HubSpot:
It's free to start off with. However. That will only get you so far. Marketing Hub Starter is less than 20 pounds a month. But the real power of the Marketing Hub comes at Pro level, which can run you a few hundred pounds a month. This represents a major jump in functionality.
Similarly, Sales Hub has some great features at Starter, but again, to grow your business, you want Pro or Enterprise. There's a trend here: if you invest more you get more out of it. Go figure.
We think HubSpot offers amazing value for money. Along with the tools you need to build your marketing engine, they offer loads of resources and excellent levels of both technical support and professional advice. They're invested in your success, which can't be said for other providers who, after wooing you with the hard sell, seem more invested in your investment, and not much else.
Alternatively, go to a HubSpot partner agency like Articulate Marketing. We'll willingly Sherpa you through the mountainous regions of the HubSpot onboarding process. We have pockets full of HubSpot certifications and the unquantifiable ability to say: 'Yeah HubSpot can do that, but first you need to turn this on, turn that off, set this up and PUT THAT DOWN, then Bob's your uncle.'
Think they call that expertise. Something like that.
With the right partner, you start with the best configuration and setup, as well as one-to-one training in best practices. Our consultants can also advise which Hubs, and which tiers, are the best fit for your business based on your needs, goals and budget.